Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Making Membrillo - Quince Jelly or Quince Cheese

Later than normal, we acquired 4kg of quince from Luis's Sister. If you are not familiar with quince, they are a hard pear-type fruit that have a unique dry/tangy and fruity taste. They are hard. We have been storing them in the pantry for a few weeks and one or two of them were beginning to show signs of fatigue so we decided to process them into Membrillo.

I forgot to photograph the whole fruit but I have included a lovely painting of quince. The picture was a gift from, and painted by Marias, Luis' younger sister as a house warming present. I must say she has done a great job.

It is a two stage process. Firstly the quince are cooked for 20 minutes whole, in a pressure cooker. When cool enough to handle they are chopped up into smallish chunks ready to be be cooked like you would cook a jam. Sugar is added to the fruit, in a ratio of 1kg of fruit to 750g of sugar. Some people skin the fruit but we choose not to. We also add a touch of mixed spice which gives the finished membrillo a lightly spiced undertone.

The mixture is cooked until thickened and transparent (less transparent if you did not skin the fruit), 1hour or longer depending on the amount of juice. It is crucial to constantly stir otherwise you will burn the mixture and taint the taste. Glass dishes are ideal for setting the membrillo. Lightly oil the glass dishes and poor the hot mixture into them and allow to completely cool. When cool divide into squares appropriate to your needs.

 We wrap ours in cling film then take them to our local Butcher who vacuum packs them for us. As she never accepts payment, we try and give her some home-baked bread or similar in return. The vacuum packed membrillo will last for over a year and can be enjoyed with cheese and wine, a nice home-baked loaf, oat cakes or by itself.


  1. I love, love, love quince jelly + queso zamorano + bread!!

  2. What a gorgeous painting! I was meaning to try membrillo this year but never got around to it. Thank you for the instructions.


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